“Scammers are leveraging the COVID-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both.” FBI Public Service Announcement, March 2020.
As we are all much too aware, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused massive – and very rapid – economic, political, and societal upheaval. While it has forced lay-offs and shut down entire industries from main street to the mall and beyond, one area that hasn’t seen a slowdown is cyber crime.
Statistics show that since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, ‘physical’ crime has decreased, which seems understandable given the ubiquitous lock-downs taking place throughout Europe, North America, and all corners of the globe. But cyber crimes, such as phishing, are up, and that’s worrying, especially as it comes at a time when businesses and individuals are under a cloud of financial uncertainty, with huge losses in the world’s stock market, closed businesses, and lost jobs.
With this economy as the backdrop, many of us had a sigh of relief when we learned that various governments have plans to step in with financial aid packages to assist individuals and businesses affected by the virus. Unfortunately, cyber criminals have also jumped at the news, rejoicing that aid money will be moving around the globe from governments, insurance companies, and businesses to individuals and small-business owners; money they hope to get their hands on.
It’s a lot of money.
In fact, we are talking about a heck of a lot of money here, with figures that make the bailouts of the 2008 global financial crisis look like peanuts. How much money? To read about some of the financial aid programs governments are planning to put into place, click here.